Environmental change and sufficiency of natural resources

Ecotourism and History Politics of the Conservation Areas in the Finnish-Russian-Norwegian Border Region (GreenZoneProject)

The GreenZoneProject is a geo-historical research project focused on the historical sites and conservation areas between the Finnish-Russian-Norwegian border region, that is, the Fennoscandian Green Belt Region. The PI of this three and half-year environmental history project (2017‒2020) is professor Maria Lähteenmäki and it is funded by the Kone Foundation.

Contact person: Maria Lähteenmäki, maria.lahteenmaki(at)uef.fi

The frontier of sustainability transitions. Cultural adaptations of sustainability policies in European peripheral regions (Academy of Finland-project)

The transformation processes leading into a sustainable, resource-efficient, and low-carbon society are not progressing uniformly. The project makes a major contribution to the knowledge on the elements hindering or enabling sustainability transitions by focusing on how local cultures affect such transitions in peripheral communities. The actual frontier of sustainability transitions is studied through cross-disciplinary subprojects seeking the symbolic governance of collective identities in transition strategies: Agri-environmental policies in local farming communities in North Karelia and Sicily, the influences of cultural factors in interpretation of sustainability strategies in Kainuu and Jämtland, and local responses to sustainability transitions from the perspective of residents living in remote rural areas in Finland.The macro-analytical frameworks for multi-sited ethnography are strengthened by the extensive international collaboration for and examination of the political utilization of peripheral identities in different European contexts (e.g. Italy, Slovenia, Ireland, Germany and Sweden). The funding period is 2016-2019.

Contact person: Simo Häyrynen, simo.hayrynen(at)uef.fi

Bright Futures. Reinventing European industrial towns and challenging dominant post-industrial discourses. (ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF)

The main objective is to develop place-specific urban strategies for industrial towns in Europe by respecting their strengths, needs and expectations. The more research-wise goal is to go beyond dominant economy-driven post-industrial strategies, which are more suited for large cities, and to recognise new post-industrial narratives better suited to European urban realities. The case studies come from Finland, Slovenia, Rumania, the Nederland and the UK. The UEF-WP is responsible for seeking the cultural transformation of changing industrial communities.

Contact person: Simo Häyrynen, simo.hayrynen(at)uef.fi

Symmetric city and planning

Project analyses and develops planning methods that aim at reducing ‘uneven relations’ in city structures and functions. Issues linked to land use, dwelling, traffic and services planning have been highlighted. The project also focuses on the ‘degree of inclusiveness’ in the planning procedures themselves. Particular target is Joensuu.

Contact persons: Ari Lehtinen, Ari.Lehtinen(at)uef.fi, Ilkka Pyy, Ilkka.Pyy(at)uef.fi

Knowledge and power in forestry management

The project aims at renewing the routines of forestry planning and guidance. The aim is to develop planning principles and methods in private forestry by co-utilising the latest findings in forestry research and regional planning studies. Both securing the economic profitability of forestry and socio-environmental values of forests is outlined. The project grounds on an intense cooperation with UEF forest researchers

Contact persons: Minna Tanskanen, minna.tanskanen(at)uef.fi, Ari Lehtinen, ari.lehtinen(at)uef.fi

Regional and environmental politics in the era of degrowth

The project formulates regional and environmental development alternatives in societal settings where/when economic degrowth is a necessity. Main target is North Karelia. It is argued, on the basis of previous studies, that decoupling from increasing environmental strain can only be met in a post-growth society and this linkage calls for thorough changes in the mainstreams of (economic) politics. Cooperation with the Kohtuusliike, Degrowth N Karelia Movement, has been intense since 2009.

Contact person: Ari Lehtinen, ari.lehtinen(at)uef.fi

Arctic politics of nature

The project examines the changing location of the Arctic North in contemporary globalisation. Particular target is natural resource extraction and its social and environmental consequences, especially in relation to local and indigenous livelihoods prospects. The project also develops Arctic policy/planning procedures that lean symmetrically on traditional and scientific knowledge. Cooperation with the Snowchange cooperative is intense.

Contact person: Ari Lehtinen, ari.lehtinen(at)uef.fi

Landscapes of Bogotá: Contested urban environments and dynamic social movements (Rodolfo Llinás Founding Program-CEIBA Foundation, Colombia, and HiMa-UEF, Finland)

This doctoral research project analyses a set of contemporary environmental conflicts regarding urban planning and nature, in Bogotá, Colombia. Such conflicts are related to the model of urbanization developed in the Bogotá-region, which has generated climate change vulnerabilities and risks. I’m analysing what have been the specific roles of civil society, state authorities, and different stakeholders in the process of urban planning and environmental concerns. I also explore the environmental and social impacts of urban planning policies in urban ecosystems through some sub-cases. The idea of this research comes from my previous experience in Bogotá, with more than 8 years of professional experience regarding the research subject, and ongoing engagement with local stakeholders interested in environmental issues. The research situates in the fields of the political ecology of urbanization and environmental history.   

Contact person: Germán A. Quimbayo Ruiz, german.quimbayo(at)uef.fi

Power, Conflict and Collaboration in Community Forestry: The case of Oaxaca, Mexico 

This PhD research project examines the social, political and territorial structures of Community Forestry and its processes of transformations related toenvironmental governance in Mexico. Iuse feminist political ecology approaches and ethnographic methods to explore how conflict and collaboration intersect and constraint the everyday use and access to natural resources in rural communities.I amparticularly interested inthe mechanisms and techniques that shape specific eco-governmentalities and its territorial configurations.

Contact person: Violeta Gutiérrez Zamora, violeta.gutierrez.zamora(at)uef.fi